One of the strongest wines in the vintage is the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape from Vincent Avril. This beauty has everything you could ask for. As with the 2018, the blend is heavily shifted toward Mourvèdre, and it offers a mammoth bouquet of black cherries, graphite, cured meats, Asian spices, and assorted garrigue-like nuances. Deep, full-bodied, and concentrated, it stays straight and focused on the palate (whereas the 2016 is more expansive and voluptuous), with a stacked mid-palate, ripe, silky tannins, and fabulous length. You’re going to want bottles of this in the cellar, and comparing the 2007, 2010, 2016, and 2017 over the coming two decades is going to be a treat. 98+
As predicted last year by Paul-Vincent Avril, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of 45% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, about 10% Syrah and the rest other permitted varieties. It boasts a cool, fresh nose of strawberries, cola and tree bark, yet it's full-bodied and tannic on the palate. Dense and chewy, albeit with a mouthwatering sense of freshness, this will need a few years to relax and unwind, but it looks very promising. (JC)
Shimmering violet. Pungent aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, potpourri and smoky minerals, along with a spicy nuance that builds as the wine opens up. Youthfully chewy and deeply concentrated, displaying sappy black raspberry, bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors and suggestions of candied lavender and licorice. Shows impressive finesse for its depth and finishes extremely long and precise, with building tannins that meld smoothly with the wine's densely packed fruit. (JR)
Supple and alluring in feel, with a silky edge to the mix of anise, plum sauce and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors. A twinge of roasted apple wood shows on the finish, followed by an echo of lavender. Displays lovely range. The texture makes this approachable now, though there's no rush. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. (JM)
Rich and thick on the nose, but still retains that all-important lightness of touch on the palate. Much more fruit than the 2010. Soy and blackcurrant on the finish, rounded and fragrant with lovely violet length. Substance with silkiness. 17.5/20 points. (RH)
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